Chelsea eye Fraser Forster whilst Aston Villa keep tabs on Gary Hooper; Celtic are weighing up a potential swoop for former loan signing Landry N’Guemo plus Ryan Fraser on why he was right to leave Aberdeen.
Premier League pair eye Celtic summer swoops
English Premier League duo Chelsea and Aston Villa could be set to raid Parkhead to bolster their squads during the summer, with the teams reportedly linked with Fraser Forster and Gary Hooper respectively.
Forster’s 67 clean sheets in 134 games for Celtic have seen him earn a call-up to the English side and whilst he is yet to win his first cap, Chelsea are on the look out for a replacement for Petr Cech, and with veteran stopper Hilario seemingly on his way out, the highly-rated Forster is thought to be high on their list. Current Chelsea ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois was signed as a potential replacement, but has spent time on loan with Atletico Madrid, and may be keen to leave Stamford Bridge in order to get first team football.
Meanwhile, Villa’s chances of signing Hooper appear to hinge on whether Paul Lambert can keep the Midlands club in the Premier League. Currently sitting just above the relegation zone in 17th, the Villa Park side are keen to strengthen their squad for next season. Hooper joining Belgian striker Christian Benteke up front would be a mouthwatering partnership, but Benteke is on several clubs’ radar, including Serie A giants Inter Milan. (various)
Celtic eye return for Landry N’Guemo
Celtic are also weighing up a move for former loan star Landry N’Guemo - but face a battle with Real Betis for his signature. The Bordeaux midfielder spent time on loan in Glasgow whilst with former club AS Nancy, but is said to be open to a move away from Ligue 1 in order to gain more first team football - and could rejoin Celtic on a permanent basis. The Cameroon international made 43 appearances during his loan spell, but parent club Nancy and Celtic were unable to negotiate a deal to keep N’Guemo at Parkhead. Reports in France suggest that Betis have made the defensive midfielder the number one target, having had previous offers rebuffed by Bordeaux. (Sky Sports)
Ryan Fraser: “Everything is perfect” at Bournemouth
Former Aberdeen winger Ryan Fraser has opened up on his January move to League One side Bournemouth, claiming defiantly that he has no regrets over his move from Pittodrie.
The winger, who has been added to the Scotland under-21 squad for their clash with Luxembourg on Monday, has seen his career progress in leaps and bounds, in the two months since he made a £400,000 move to the promotion-chasing Bournemouth, who currently lie 5th in the table.
Fraser enthused: “It is brilliant. Eddie Howe, the gaffer, takes me for extra training sessions. At Aberdeen I would never have done extra. Not one day did I do extra.”
But the diminutive winger bears no grudges. Speaking to The Scotsman, he said he was ‘surprised’ by Craig Brown’s decision to step down as Aberdeen manager, feeling that he and assistant Archie Knox could have gone on for another couple of years at the Dons’ helm. Brown expressed disappointment at Fraser jumping ship after just 21 first team appearances for the Pittodrie side, but the midfielder added: “I spoke to him and explained it was the best decision for me and I’m glad I made it.” (The Scotsman)
St Mirren to get guard of honour from Celtic
Celtic players are planning to form a ‘guard of honour’ to welcome St Mirren on to the pitch ahead of the two sides’ SPL match next week. Neil Lennon is reportedly keen on congratulating the Paisley side on their League Cup victory, telling Express Sports: “I think it’s only right that the occasion is marked in the proper way, so we will look at doing something.”
St Mirren knocked Celtic out of the same competition at the semi final stage. (Paisley Daily Express)
Derek McInnes set to take reins at Aberdeen
Former Bristol City manager Derek McInnes is close to being unveiled as the new boss at Aberdeen. McInnes, who earned praise for his work with St Johnstone before moving down south, is set to be joined by long-time assistant Tony Docherty. Current Pittodrie boss Craig Brown announced earlier this month that he would be taking up a role as a club director, and McInnes could be installed as soon as Monday morning.
Aberdeen had seen an initial approach for Ross County manager Derek Adams turned down. (Sunday Herald)
Ally McCoist defends Rangers squad over Twitter accounts
Rangers manager Ally McCoist has been forced to defend his squad over their use of social networking site Twitter, after irate fans unveiled a banner at Ibrox during the 0-0 draw with Stirling Albion that read: “Less time tweeting, more time training.” The banner came about after Ibrox midfielder Kyle Hutton fell out with fans online following the defeat to Annan Athletic. McCoist said: “I am not a fan of tweeting, I am a fan of training.
“I would reassure the fans there is no problem in terms of the amount and level of training.” (Sunday Mail)
Scotland face striker crisis ahead of Serbia clash
Gordon Strachan has stated that he will not call up James McFadden to the Scotland squad despite a lack of options up front ahead of the clash with Serbia, claiming that it’s too early for the Motherwell striker’s return.
Strachan said: “[James] has only played one 90 minutes in three years. He has to just play, and if he gets back to where he was then he comes in. That’s for sure.”
Strachan faces a trip to Serbia without Steven Fletcher, who injured his ankle in the defeat to Wales, whilst Kenny Miller is a doubt after damaging his knee, leaving Jordan Rhodes as the only out-and-out striker. Scotland are assessing Miller’s injury, but time is running out for Strachan to add any firepower to the squad. (The Sun)